Investing in her future

Cassie Newman.
A Melbourne student believes she has found a way into the property market. Adam Bradshaw reports.

Cassie Newman is juggling exams and the search for an investment property in her final year of university. The 21-year old Swinburne student plans to invest in Hawthorn student housing to fund her future.

She says upcoming housing developments provide opportunities for investments that appeal to international students. “I want to start life with more than one income and an investment property can guarantee me a second income for life,” the Bachelor of Communications student said.

Newman intends to fund her living expenses through the investment property when she moves out of home.

She is grateful for her parents’ support. They paid university fees upfront to enable her to start life debt-free and allowed her to live at home until she felt comfortable to move out.

“My parents are financially savvy and made an effort to instill this in me,” she says. “But they let me struggle as much as they help me; it’s a part of the lesson.”

When she was 15 Newman opened a long-term savings account only accessible when she turned 18. She transferred her pay from part-time work into the account, using it to buy her first car.

She became even more serious about her financial security after a severe car accident. “I never wanted to feel so desperate again. I had to come up with so much money I didn’t have.”

Now Newman commits to three jobs as a sales assistant, a waitress and a fit model, as well as studying full-time. She starts most days at 5am and works late into the night.

She sacrifices social activities to save and study but says it is worth the financial security and independence she has that most university students can’t experience.

The Sugarmamma.TV blog that seeks to inspire women to become independent is Newman’s financial bible. She follows the advice of the finance site that urges followers to begin with the “$1000 project”, gathering $1000 to immediately invest. Newman began seeking financial opportunities to save the amount.

Three years of stock investment has been crucial to her financial success, beginning with the original $1000. She has dedicated herself to understanding the stock market.

“The number one thing I learnt is ‘make your money work for you’. Sugarmamma.TV calls it passive income. It’s my goal to get as many as I can, starting with this investment property.”

Newman’s advice to other university students is it is never too late.

“Just look at where your money is going and manage it. Look for opportunities to make money, save it, and invest it. It’s a great thing to start even after uni.”